On 01 Feb 2011, at 23:53, Colin Hales wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 01 Feb 2011, at 07:51, Colin Hales wrote:

Hi Bruno,

I have been pondering this issue a bit and I am intrigued about how you regard the problem space we inhabit. When you say things like ...

"Are you aware that If comp is true, that is if I am a machine ..."

I cannot fathom how you ever get to this point.

By looking at amoeabs, then reading book on molecular genetics, smelling Turing universality, then by reading Gödel's proof and the discovery of how to handle self-duplication and self-reference in representational machine, ...

I did not take this too much seriously until my understanding of Church thesis deepens. The closure of computerland for diagonalization makes universal machine extremely universal, if I can say.

This is a presupposition that arises somehow in the lexicon you have established within your overall framework of thinking.

It has lead me to some interest with that hypothesis.

Let me have a stab at how my view and yours correlate.

In my view
A) There is a natural world.
 We, Turing machines dogs, computers are all being 'computed' by it.
 This is a set of unknown naturally occurring symbols
 The natural 'symbols' interact naturally.
 This is 'natural computation'. NOT like desktop computing.
 Universe U ensues.
 Scientist S is being computed within U
 Scientist S can observe U from within.
 U makes use of fundamental properties of the symbols to enable
   .... observation, from within. Call this principle P-O

If by natural world you mean the world of the natural numbers with addition and multiplication, I am OK. I can picture your "A)".
No. Here's where we part company. This presupposition about the relation between the abstractions for quantity we call numbers, and the natural world is one I do not make. All you can logically claim is that it is made of a large set of 'something', these 'somethings' interact simultaneously, on mass. The 'numbers' do not relate to each other like natural numbers, but they do relate in a way that can be MODELLED using natural numbers.

You confuse the numbers used by humans to model,and theorize, about physical phenomenon, and the infinitite relations between numbers that we have to take into account by the first person indeterminacy. Read, or reread UDA1-7. Take the digital thesis seriously by doing the thought experiment. You are confusing numbers and numbers' dream somehow.

If by natural world you mean the physical worlds as seen by 'numbers', what you say might be locally correct, but that remains to be proved (assuming comp).
No. You have it all backwards. You can assume _nothing_ about the natural world and abstract number systems.

The morning I assume there is coffee in the kitchen. This assumes already, albeit implicitly, many things about *some* natural world.

And then I assume there is a level of description of myself such that I am Turing emulable at that level, in the sense that I would not see any difference would a malin génie decide to make the substitution. What do I make that assumption? Because many makes it, and got it wrong. Once you make it, you might understand that 'the natural world' is itself, and by itself, a rather strong assumption. With mechanism, comp, COMP, CTM made precise, etc., you have to take into account that numbers, just with the addition and multiplication law, plays the whole drama of all the possible ways universal machine multiplies and reflect themselves, and the physical realm can be seen as a secondary effect of numbers dreams, some dreams glue together and leads to physical realities. Computer science and mathematical logic, with Church thesis, can make this sufficiently precise so that it can be verified (for the ideal case of correct (and little) 'numbers'), and assuming the classical theory of knowledge.

B) This is a symbolic description of U created by S from within U
 S can concoct a description of the natural symbols in (A)
 It need not be unique, many (B) correspond to one (A)
 S can never know if it's completely done.
 S can never know the real nature of the sybols in (A)
 Descriptions (B), with P-O, explains observation and the observer S

C) There is a _second_ description
 It is also concocted by S
 These are the normal empirical laws we all know so well


 It describes how the U appears to S from inside
 It need not be unique, many (C) correspond to one (A)
 No (C) ever explains observation.

In this framework
(i) a computer running description/rules (B) is not the natural world.

OK. With the two sense of natural world I accept above.

(ii) a computer running description/rules (C) is not the natural world.


(iii) a computer running descriptions (B) or (C) is 'artificially

Yes. it is an isolated malin génie.

(iv)  (C) is physics that present day scientists construct

I don't get "C".
So you don't understand what basic empirical scientists do. Boy have I failed to connect or what!

I'm afraid you did.

(v)   (B) is physics of a natural world prior to an observer.

This exist for Löbian machine (although they can find it "looking inward").
Who's 'they'?

The Löbian machine. UDA shows physics has to be in the head of the Löbian machine, among other things. AUDA, or the Lôbian interview, I actually ask a little Löbian machine (Peano Arithmetic) to take a look.

(vi)  (A) is 'NATURALLY computing' in the sense that it is literally
    'computing' scientist S.
These options are the logically justifiable position we can take when we are, as we are, inside U trying to work U out from within, using an observation faculty provided by U as part of (A). Empirical evidence justifying (C) is normal overvation (contents of one or more observer-agreed conscious experisnces). Empirical evidence justifying (B) is implicit in the existence of an observer concocting a set (C). You can't be confused about an bservation unless there is an observer to be confused.
All that said.....now ....

You mention "digital physics". You say "Are you aware that If COMP is true, that is if I am a machine ..."

In terms of my framework....you are speaking of ...what?

I postulate, eventually, only natural numbers and addition and multiplication. Then from this (it is not obvious but standard in good logic textbook) you can show that the arithmetical relation (defined with "+" and "*", and classical logic) emulate all computations. Physics or the natural world is never emulated (but often simulated by malin génie program). Physics is what appear from inside taking the first person indeterminacy inyto account. A priori the natural world is not a computational object.
"Physics is what appear from inside taking the first person indeterminacy inyto account. "

This is (C). Standard empirical physics.

"A priori the natural world is not a computational object"

This is (A). the universe U is not a computational object. Not computed.

Yes, we agree on this. Comp or CTM is the assumption (or theory) according to which "I" am computable, in a third and first person sense that I don't see the difference between digital (and physical!) emulation of me described at some level, supposed to exist. If the brain is a natural representational machine (like computer) that is rather plausible (even in the case the brain is a quantum computer).

OK. Clarity of a sort. Where does (B) fit in? I think you assume it as a com,puter program on a magical non-existent computer running something.

I am realist on arithmetic. I believe in prime numbers, and I can show you that if you believe in prime numbers, then you have to believe in universal numbers, and their arithmetical emulation.

I hold that descriptions (B) are accessible. I also hold that these descriptions are not the same as the (C) descriptions. Both constructed by the same observer/scientist.

No I think maybe you merge (A) and (B) and then replace them both with your lower-case comp machine. OK.

You lost me.

(1) A 'Turing machine (digital computer)' inside U running (B)
(2) The natural computation itself, of kind (A)?

I suspect

(3) Some kind of magical 'computer' in idea-space computing us as (A)? i.e. A 'virtual machine' that 'acts as if' it generates an arbitrary
 number of different U?

The COMP I talk about having refuted is in (i) or (ii) above.
I suspect this is not the COMP you are speaking of...

The comp I talk about is the assumption that my (generailzed) brain can be emulated by a digital computer. The rest should follow.

The 'comp' you talk about is actually an abstract machine in a non- existent abstract space that manipulates abstractions.

Comp is not a machine, it is an hypothesis. Roughly speaking that my brain works like a computer at some level. The notion of level is anything you decide once you accept that it has an instantaneous state describable by a (relative) number.

It's got nothing to do with the COMP I talk about, which is a computer, made of the real world (not integers), in the real natural world, running a description (made by humans) of the natural world. This applies to 'quasi-digital' (desktop style), analogue and quantum computers.

You have a deep seated conviction that this abstract computer that 'is' a reality and a real computer that runs descriptions of a reality are indistinguishable.

You suggest I say 'no' to the doctor?

This is unjustifiable. The simpler, parsimonious solution is to assume that is not the case, and work out what options exist for a describer and the possible relations between a describer and the described.

The reason your propositions have trouble getting accepted

Ah? I know only one scientist pretending having find a refutation. And I have not yet really submitted (all my publications and text have been ordered to me). I am a bit sorry for that. Colin, it is not a question of being accepted or not, but of presenting a refutation or a critic of the reasoning. People usually understand easily UDA1-7, and get more trouble with MGA, which is perhaps at the crux of the 'reversal'.

is because they make this step into a faith-based presupposition that is indistinguishable from a statement like "the natural world is erected in real time by the little purple regularity fairies". It has exactly the same level of faith and assumption. So the comp you speak of, I conclude, at last, is not the COMP I refute, nor is it the one of the many other refutations. Which is kind of good from your perspective. From my perspective it means I have to battle no more with your comp.

Er ... well, except that you seems to take for granted a 'natural world'. Comp's consequence is that it is about infinitely more plausible that what we call the (multi)-cosmos, is a (tiny) aspect of the relation between little and big universal numbers. And I am not saying that this is true, just that if follows from taking CTM or digital mechanism seriously enough in consideration. I do think you are coherent, and really non computationalist, because you have to, to protect the existence of the 'natural world'.
I am still agnostic.


In relation to Stathis' request:

If you model a natural environment presenting some problem to a human
within that environment, the simulated human will arrive at the same
solution as the real human would have. If intelligence is
problem-solving behaviour, there is therefore no difference between
the natural world and the model provided that the model is in fact a
good one. Your claim that computers cannot replicate human
intelligence is thus equivalent to a claim that there is some process
in the human brain which is not Turing emulable. What process do you

No. This is just plain wrong. You cannot model an observation of something that you have no idea of the evidence of .i.e. You cannot model the unknown. If you could then you'd already know it (the observer and the relationship of the observer to everything else. If you want to get at unknowns, then you have to model a modeller of the unknown ... and then _assume_ that everything in a model captures the reality you are modelling, during the process.

The non-Turing emulable part of the natural world is the relationship between every little bit X and every other bit of it that is NOT directly related to X. A product of massive parallelism created by a massive collection of the entities of which we are actually made, which is best assumed not to be abstract numbers if you want to understand it. This is something we inherit by 'being' in the world. Something that cannot be simulated. Something that a Turing Machine (computer), totally different to us physically, does not get in its program. By way of example, I have attached a video of a simulated neuron firing. It's from a paper I have in review at the moment. The video depicts the currents originating the biologically realistic EM fields around a neuron due to the ion channels involed in an action potential. It was produce by the package NEURON. In it you will see a pair of red/blue interfaces travelling away from the soma. These interfaces are virtual evanescent current-dipoles. They are mathematically describable, but form no part of the mathematical description that generated them. THAT is what is missing. These are the virtual relationships not accessed by the mathematics of a Turing machine. No matter what is going on in a Turing machine, NONE of this kind of phenomenon are accessed by it.

The question is 'what is it like to BE those fields'. It cannot be claimed to be like the mathematical description that represents them, nor can it be claimed to be 'like' being the computer running the simulation.

A final demo that tells you what can't be emulated...using, yes, actual natural numbers.
Here's a 1.
Here another 1.
If I 'be' the first 1, you 'be' the second 1. what 'law' captures the relationship between the two instances of 1? That 'law' is not any law that you and I concoct sitting up here, staring down at them like a god. No amount of abstraction of 'one-ness' capture that relationship.

I am glad I don't have to battle lower case comp any more. So I guess I'll leave it there for now. Progress has been made.

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